Attractions industry news

11 Jul 2018

10,000 art works to be moved for Buckingham Palace renovations

More than 10,000 works of art from the British royal family's private collection will be relocated during the £369m (US$489.6m, €416.8m) refurbishment of Buckingham Palace, with some of the works to potentially be loaned out to public institutions.

The entire east wing of the palace will be emptied in April 2019 so the historic landmark can undergo urgent works.

The works – which are part of the Royal Collection – include porcelain, furniture, tapestries and paintings. According to a spokesperson for the palace, in addition to relocating some of the works of art to other parts of the building, there are "opportunities" to move works to other parts of the Royal Palaces estate and to loan out certain works of art to public institutions.

Among the objects included in the vast collection – which has been given to or collected by the royal family over a number of centuries – are early 18th-century porcelain pagodas and a late 18th-century vase with mounts from Jingdezhen, China. These items belonged to King George IV.

The 10-year refit of Buckingham Palace has been funded by a 66 per cent rise to the Sovereign Grant – the allowance provided annually by the government to support the Queen in her official duties.

The work is the biggest undertaking for the property since World War Two. As part of the refurbishment, the palace's 33-year-old boilers will be replaced, as will 100 miles of electrical cable and 20 miles of lead and cast iron pipework. The Queen will retain her residence during the works.

Dating back to the 17th century, the iconic palace has 775 rooms, including 19 state rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms. First used as a palace by Queen Victoria, the property has not been redecorated since 1952. As an attraction, it draws an estimated 500,000 visitors each year.

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